Fast Times at Marina Bay?

By Alyssa Giacobbe | Boston Magazine |

While Peter was the conservative brother, the one with a stable family life and a name that tended to appear in the papers only in connection with the family’s various projects, William was never a man people might describe as upstanding. He was a workaholic, but high-profile trouble seemed to swirl around him. In 1990, his 29-year-old son, Matthew “Ky” O’Connell, was convicted of second-degree murder for killing 22-year-old Julie Hamilton, a friend of a friend. Her body was found in a shallow grave near the house Ky shared with his mother, Mary McLain. During the trial, McLain testified that as a child Ky had frequently set fires and ripped apart his teddy bears. The night of the murder, she remembered, he’d woken her three times to ask where she kept a pick and shovel. Ky was sentenced to life in prison, but was eventually transferred to Bridgewater State Hospital, a facility for convicts in need of psychiatric care.

Then, in 2002, William was charged in the accidental death of his longtime best friend, Bill Sanderson, a South Shore real estate agent. During a Fourth of July celebration, Sanderson was struck by the propeller of William’s boat, which had been anchored illegally in shallow water off Martha’s Vineyard. Peter O’Connell rode to the hospital with Sanderson, holding the dying man. William O’Connell left the scene, later claiming he was simply looking for a safe place to dock, but once on land he refused to take a police Breathalyzer test. Sanderson’s widow, Donna, asked the judge for leniency. William was put on six months’ pretrial probation on the negligent homicide charge and received a 120-day suspension of his driver’s license, and the case was dismissed.

William O’Connell was regarded in some circles as a womanizer and party boy with a destructive nature. Six years later he was involved in a private-helicopter crash with two New Hampshire women in their early twenties.

And so by the time news of William’s most recent troubles surfaced in May of this year, people were well used to hearing about his assorted transgressions. But even by the standards of his checkered past, the allegations in his latest mogul-gone-wild episode — charges of child rape and drug trafficking — were shocking.

THE GIRL, NOW 15, returned home in October 2010. For a year now, her mother had noticed her daughter’s expensive clothing, the new cell phones, her increasingly troubled mood. But whenever she was confronted, the girl denied that anything was wrong.

She finally shared her secret with a friend, and then, in March of this year, with the police. She told them of the past two years, of the fancy condo and the numerous times she’d been given cash and had sex with William O’Connell and — at his direction — several others. She also told police that William kept a metal safe in the back of a closet at his Marina Bay condo. State police searched the residence on March 31. According to police, the safe turned out to contain 18.49 grams of cocaine — enough for prosecutors to charge William with felony trafficking. The authorities also tracked down and arrested Kookie, who was identified as 21-year-old Phyllis Capuano of Everett.

O’Connell’s lawyer, Stephen Delinsky, lays out a very different story from the one the girl tells. He insists that the whole thing was a setup: Bill — a man who liked to help people — was being extorted. “When the facts are revealed, it will become apparent to everybody that [William] is the victim of malicious lies,” Delinsky says. “Mr. O’Connell was the victim of extortion. He never had any physical relationship with this woman. The allegations are made up.” In Delinsky’s mind, the case has classist undertones. He cites what he calls similar cases in which prominent defendants — including members of the Duke lacrosse team and, more recently, French economist and politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn — were wrongly accused of sexual misconduct. Delinsky won’t comment on how his client and the girl were introduced. “The extortion is a very complicated story and I can’t reveal everything, but there are clear motives for this woman to come forward the way she did,” he says. “Mr. O’Connell has helped a lot of people. To help somebody is not a crime.”

  • Christopher

    I’ve worked for large daily press but find that I have much more ability to say what I have to say on my own. I have spoken with Ms. Giacobbe on this matter and look forward to reading her work when I have some down time TH morning!

    Mine is found at KingCast65 YouTube or at KingCast blog just search for the names top left corner, videos court docs and all of that.

  • sunil

    The Porsche never moved. O’Connell opened the door and shot Fasano!

  • MIKE
  • jon

    Oconnells have money they don’t . No matter what u don’t shoot someone. It is a smear campaign . Even if it was a homeless man on the side of a road u don’t shoot someone.

  • lou

    BBy. The time fasano got out ,oconnell could have sped way n been home he was in a porche they were in a jeep

  • SUNIL
  • Danielle

    Everyone is all about the money and will take all they can get to those who are the most giving.

  • sunil
  • sunil
  • sunil
  • sunil
  • sunil

    Chris King is a convicted felon who worked for the defense team.

  • chris
  • MEHTA

    Per Curiam.  In December 1998, for conduct in January 1996, we suspended Christopher King, now of Dallas, Texas, Attorney Registration No. 0062199, from the practice of law in Ohio for one year, but stayed the suspension on the condition that during that year he be placed on probation and work with a mentor appointed by the relator, Columbus Bar Association.  Columbus Bar Assn. v. King (1998), 84 Ohio St.3d 174, 702 N.E.2d 862.   We also imposed costs of that proceeding on respondent.

  • gurinder

    According to the testimony, King represented Kandy Cantrell in a “slip and
    fall” tort action against her former landlord. In January 1996, King planned to file
    a complaint on Cantrell’s behalf seeking compensation for her injuries arising
    from this alleged tort. On or about January 26, King took Cantrell to Pope’s
    office, where respondents decided that Pope would telephone Cantrell’s former
    landlord to see whether the landlord would slander Cantrell. King and Pope, who
    were friends and had jointly represented another client, also decided to record the
    telephone conversation.

    Pope called the landlord and talked with the landlord’s office manager.
    Pope represented to the office manager that Pope had received a rental application
    from Cantrell. Pope did own an old warehouse building that he planned to
    renovate and lease to commercial and residential tenants. However, the building
    was far from ready for occupancy, Pope did not plan to accept children (Cantrell

  • sachin

    In December 1998, for conduct in January 1996, we suspended Christopher King, now of Dallas, Texas, Attorney Registration No. 0062199, from the practice of law in Ohio for one year, but stayed the suspension on the condition that during that year he be placed on probation and work with a mentor appointed by the relator, Columbus Bar Association.  Columbus Bar Assn. v. King (1998), 84 Ohio St.3d 174, 702 N.E.2d 862.   We also imposed costs of that proceeding on respondent.

  • CHRIS

    Further, it is significant, as to King, that he has demonstrated unacceptable
    behavior in the past. There have been at least four grievances filed with the
    Columbus Bar Association against him, and he has been sanctioned by two judges.

  • JOE

    The Nashua chapter had no knowledge of King’s intervention on Toney’s behalf, nor had any details of Toney’s case, Levesque said. When the NAACP ultimately contacted Toney, he said King had sought him, she said. Levesque said she was not aware of King’s status with the Ohio bar, and that as soon as the Nashua chapter learned of his communication with Jaffrey police he was relieved of his duties.

    King was suspended from the bar in 2001 but the suspension was not imposed so long as he met certain conditions, said Doris Roach, a clerk at the Ohio Supreme Court. However, he did not meet those conditions and was suspended in 2002.

    The New Hampshire Bar Association does not recognize King, and he is not licensed to practice in this state, Dunn said.

    Dunn said he will sue Jaffrey police and the NAACP. “There are a number of people who love to hate me, and I’m not scared of anyone,”King said.